Cowboy Jam Session: Western Culture News & Reviews |

Cowboy Jam Session: Western Culture News & Reviews

From lighthearted yodeling lessons to probing cowboy poetry, from vintage quilts to sublime images of the Grand Canyon, these books have it covered. For good measure, there’s a collection of short stories guaranteed to satisfy your minimum daily dose of comic relief. Any of these will be enjoyed long after the cutout sugar cookies are gone:

Wylie Gustafson, of Wylie & the Wild West, brings us . Suitable for children and adults, it offers lessons, tips, and techniques pertaining to the high art of yodeling. It includes a CD of warm-up exercises, examples of yodeling styles, and yodel-along-with-Wylie tracks. Illustrated by Robert Payne, the drawings are as much fun as the recording and Gustafson’s hilarious prose. (Gibbs Smith, 2007, 96 pages, 6″x6″, illustrations & instructional CD, softcover, ISBN: 1423602137)

sells for $10 (plus $3 shipping). Order from and your copy will be personally signed by the original Yahoo® yodeler! Mail orders to Two Medicine Music, 24502 SR 127, LaCrosse WA 99143; fax them to (509) 549-3684. (Did I mention it’s just the right size to fit in a Christmas stocking?)

The late, contemporary cowboy poet JB Allen is remembered in , edited by Duward Campbell and Chuck Milner. Sorting through files left behind following his death in 2005, the duo selected Allen’s newer and unpublished works for inclusion. A chapter entitled “The Circle” contains remembrances penned by friends and fellow poets. Campbell’s ranch-savvy drawings and paintings are sprinkled throughout. (Dry Camp Press, 2007, 90 pages, 9″x6″, 65 poems, artwork, illustrations; softbound, ISBN: 0976183439)

sells for $25 postpaid from Duward Campbell, 2515 Second St, Lubbock, TX 79415; (806) 762-2343.

If you have a quilter on your list, or perhaps a history buff, consider by Marcia Kaylakie, with Janice Whittington. The recipient need not be from Texas to enjoy this colorful collection showcasing 34 remarkable quilts. Ten years of travel and research went into this interpretation of Texas history. It’s a journey from the 1870s to the 2003. Photos by Jim Lincoln give an intimate perspective of the textiles. (Texas Tech University Press, 2007, 264 pages, 11″x11″, 182 color photos & map, hardcover, ISBN: 0896726061)

sells for $39.95 plus shipping from Texas Tech University Press, Lubbock, Texas. Call (800) 832-4042 to order. For more on Texas Quilts, go to

by Stephen Trimble won a Wrangler Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. More than simply pretty pictures, Trimble melds 125 years of photos, of one of the most photographed subjects on earth, with essays by experienced Canyon photographers. (Northland Publishing, 2006, 210 pages, 12″x11″, 115 photos, hardcover, ISBN: 0873588940)

If you’re ever stood on the rim of the Grand Canyon and attempted to capture the color and grandeur before your eyes with a camera, you know the challenge. These photographers – working with glass-plate negatives, film, and digital images – succeed where others fail. And, they’ve been to the bottom of the Canyon, capturing images few of us ever see, in glorious detail.

lists for $40. Call Northland Publishing at (928) 774-5251 or mail them at P.O. Box 1389, Flagstaff, AZ 86001.

Montana’s Ken Overcast can brighten the darkest day with his storytelling. Case in point, his latest collection of knee-slappin’ stories from the real West, . Augmenting 48 tales are illustrations by cowboy cartoonist Ben Crane. (Bear Valley Press, 2007, 240 pages, 5.5″x8.5″, illustrations, paperback, ISBN: 0971848122)

Every copy carries a “Genuine Montana Cowboy Guarantee.” If you’re not completely satisfied with your purchase, you may return the unread portion of your book, and Ken will cheerfully refund the unspent portion of your money. In case this logic sounds familiar, you may already be an Overcast fan. His weekly column, , appears in numerous weekly publications. If you’re not familiar with his work, take a listen to a sample chapter at

Tales sells for $16.95. (Shipping is just $3 whether you buy one or a dozen. So check out Ken’s other books as well as his CDs at Give a toll-free call to the Overcast outfit at (888) 753-7611 and they’ll take care of you. Guaranteed!


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